On Thursday, July 15, 2021, the Village Board adopted a resolution declaring Glencoe to be an idle-free Village as recommended by the Glencoe Sustainability Task Force. The issue of car idling was brought to the attention of the Task Force during the Glencoe community’s Walk, Bike, and Roll to School Program developed to encourage children to participate in active transportation to and from school. The program was formed in partnership with School District 35. While conducting periodic counts of children walking and bicycling to school at Glencoe schools, Task Force members observed several drivers idling their vehicles while waiting to pick up children at the end of the school day.
Car idling is when a vehicle’s engine is running while it is parked or not in use. Idling has environmental as well as health implications. The average American driver spends over 16 minutes a day idling their vehicle, which releases greenhouse gas emissions and contributes to global climate change. This amount of car idling adds up quickly, as Americans use an estimated 12 million gallons of fuel every day to idle their cars. Car idling also emits pollutants that are linked to increases in asthmas and allergies, among other more serious conditions. Children are especially vulnerable because they inhale more air per pound of body weight.
As a result of the Task Force member observations and further internal discussions, the Task Force aims to launch an educational campaign to encourage Glencoe residents to limit their idling whenever possible. This educational campaign will include information sharing via the Village’s social media channels, Glencoe Farmers Market and the Task Force’s blog on the Village’s website. A poster has been designed for the downtown kiosks and a number of idle-free permanent informational signage will be posted in the right-of-way adjoining each of the District 35 Schools, at the Glencoe Park District’s Takiff Center and around Village Hall. This campaign fits in well with several other task force initiatives to encourage residents to make small manageable changes to make a big difference.
As a kickoff to the educational campaign, the Sustainability Task Force recommends that the Village Board adopt the attached idle-free Resolution to encourage residents, guests, visitors and community employees, as well as other individuals within the Village limits, not to exceed a three-minute idling time in their gasoline or diesel-powered motor vehicles, with some exceptions. This voluntary campaign is purely educational and not enforceable by Village citation or fine. You can read the resolution here.